HOUSTON, TEXAS — A group representing descendants of slaves had a message for the 2020 Democrat candidates who have not endorsed immediate reparations: “We see you.”
“The question is not what their stance is on reparations, it’s why they haven’t come out in full force in support of reparations,” Michael Brown with the American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS) movement, told Breitbart News right before the debate at Texas Southern University, a historically black university.
Most of the candidates have backed H.R. 40, a bill that would form a commission to study the issue, but Brown rejected it as cover.
“We’re not talking about H.R. 40 — we’re not talking about the study. We have all the data we need. We don’t need an expansive study. What we need is tangibles,” he said. “Our communities are suffering.”
Brown gestured to the neighborhood bordering the university.
“We have gentrification all around us … On the side of TSU, we have housing projects over there. We have people living in dire situations. We need tangibles, we need resources, we need to cut the check. We don’t need an expansive study. We need candidates that are going to support our issues.”
Brown suggested black Americans are tired of being taken for granted.
“We’ve all voted Democrat. We need a return on our investment,” he said. “We need to hear our issues heard. We’ve championed everybody else’s issues. We need our issues heard.”
So far, 2020 Democrat candidate Marianne Williamson is the only candidate to come out for reparations.
Brown said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has been disappointing on this issue.
“She’s already came out and said she’s not going to do anything explicitly for black people, so that’s an issue for me. So I can’t count on your support. You’re going to have to change that message. You have time,” he said.
“All of a sudden, she’s for Indian rights,” Brown’s colleague said, in reference to Harris’ mother’s ethnicity.
Brown said he would not vote for Biden because he believes he will take the same position as former President Barack Obama.
“Biden hasn’t endorsed anything on reparations. I get the feeling he’s going to take what his partner did — Obama. He didn’t support reparations; that was a mistake. And Black America has learned from that. They’re not going to fall for the same mistake. Since you don’t have a reparations plans, a black agenda for us, I’m not voting for you,” he said.
“Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders has been lukewarm at best. Bernie Sanders acts like he doesn’t know what reparations is,” he said. “If you don’t know, you can just ask us, but don’t just say, ‘I don’t know.'”
“So they’ve been lukewarm at best and hiding behind H.R. 40 to give them cover. And we’re here to say that we see you,” Brown said.
Brown’s colleague credited Williamson with bringing attention to the issue.
“She’s the only one. But she’s not polling. But she helped us light the fire, and we’ve got to keep it going,” she said.